Nevada State Forester Resigns After Wildfire Review

Independent investigation found faults in Washoe Valley fire

CalTrans road crews drive past a melted traffic cone at the Emerald Fire along Highway 89, Friday, Oct. 14, 2016 on the southwest shores of Lake Tahoe. The blaze that burned about 200 acres northwest of South Lake Tahoe, California was one of three wind-whipped wildfires burning along the Sierra Nevada. The largest one destroyed more than 20 homes in a rural valley between Carson City and Reno, Nevada. (Randall Benton/The Sacramento Bee via AP)


RENO, Nev. (AP) — Nevada’s state forester has resigned less than two months after an independent review criticized the way the Nevada Division of Forestry responded to a prescribed burn that sparked an October wildfire, destroying 23 homes south of Reno.

Wildland Firefighter: Firefighters Tried to Hold Nevada Wildfire

Bradley Crowell, director of the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, announced Monday that Joe Freeland was stepping down. He said NDF Deputy Administrator Kacey KC will serve as interim forester until a permanent replacement is named. She’s the first woman to hold that position.

Crowell didn’t provide a reason for Freeland’s resignation. Freeland told KRNV-TV in Reno it would be inappropriate to discuss publicly.

Among other things, an independent investigation into the handling of the wildfire in Washoe Valley north of Carson City concluded state crews were understaffed despite repeated warnings about unstable, windy weather.

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